The pope left Rome on Shepherd One, an Alitalia air plane chartered for papal use, last evening at 11PM.
Accompanied by a small entourage and what is reported to be five million dollars in cash, the Holy See arrived in Miami after a ten hour flight. The money is said to come from the Vatican’s Miscellum account, funds set aside for the personal needs of popes.
Pope Francis told the cheering Catholics who had turned up at Miami-Dade to meet him that his mission was a bold, but necessary one.
“I am 76 years old,” said the pope. “I need to take it easy and get some sun and fresh air. I am too old to sit behind a desk in the Vatican dealing with paperwork. I am leaving that to younger cardinals.”
“But don’t worry,” said the pope. “I will keep in touch. You can follow me on Twitter. If there is any urgent church business my staff can send me an email. And in any case I will go back for Christmas to wave from the balcony at St. Peter’s Square as usual.”Pope Francis’ long distance commuting did however not meet with approval in all church quarters. “I feel cheated,” said a leading cardinal who spoke on condition of anonymity. “We elected this guy to work. Not to sit under a palm tree in Miami.”
Opposition to Pope Francis’ new style of management was growing in the Vatican hierarchy today, but sources admitted that removing a sitting pope was nearly impossible. “He is basically expected to die in office,” a church official said. “Putting him on trial? For heresy, maybe. If he converted to Islam or something. For spending his day on the beach? Hardly. Remember, he is not only God’s representative on earth. He is also the head of a state, with diplomatic immunity wherever he goes.”
Pope Francis, meanwhile, seemed unconcerned about the controversy surrounding him. The Father of 1.2 billion Catholics was walking along Miami Beach, saying he in particular liked the art deco buildings.